Commissioner Lara calls on Trump administration to stop attempts to deny needed healthcare to transgender Californians
News: 2019 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara submitted a letter condemning the Trump Administration’s proposed rule, “Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs and Activities.” This rule invites attempts to deny needed health care, particularly to transgender persons.
The proposed rule:
- Attempts to narrow the scope of non-discrimination requirements in health programs, which could result in insurers attempting to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
- Incorporates the prior Trump “conscience rights” rule to encourage health care providers to attempt to use religious freedom as a pretext to deny patients their civil rights and access to care.
- Deletes a definition from the existing regulation which could put women at risk of not being able to access the full range of necessary health services.
- Removes examples of insurer misconduct from the existing regulation. This deletion may be seen as an invitation to revert to these harmful practices.
- Removes sexual orientation and gender identity from the list of explicitly prohibited forms of discrimination, raising the potential that providers may attempt to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.
- Removes requirements that make information regarding the availability of interpreters readily accessible to persons who speak languages other than English.
- Articulates a new opinion that would prevent consumers from vindicating their rights in court.
- Seeks comments on future changes that could adversely affect accessibility to care for persons with disabilities.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.